About this Blog

The blog focuses on the essence of wine and food, not how many points or stars it receives. The opinions are mine and should be taken only as that, an opinion not gospel.

Like many collectors, initially I was very much influenced by wine ratings. I purchased wines based on points, even if I had never tasted the wine. And it was much worse than that. I would drink a wine with a high rating, not like it, yet since it was highly rated I’d rationalize that I did not yet appreciate the wine, or that my palate was not sophisticated enough to understand the wine. How’s that for lunacy? As a result my cellar grew in all directions while my palate narrowed. By the time I realized the style of wine that I enjoyed, my cellar abounded with wines whose styles I did not enjoy. All of these wines were very highly rated, just not my cup of tea, or glass of wine to be more accurate. Fortunately I was able to sell many of these wines to those who either enjoyed them or wanted highly rated wines. Don’t misunderstand, I am not against wines with high ratings, in fact I own many. It is just that I now purchase wines based on the producer, the style and my palate, not the rating. Nor do I shun reading reviews. I very much respect Antonio Galloni, Alan Meadows, Eric Asimov and John Gilman and read their reviews routinely. I pay attention to what they write, not the points they award.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Perfect Wine

Webster defines "perfection" as “the condition, state, or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects”.  In "Delta of the Metaphysics”, Aristotle distinguished three meanings of the term.
“That is perfect:
1. which is complete — which contains all the requisite parts;
2. which is so good that nothing of the kind could be better;
3. which has attained its purpose.”

1997 Alzero
While all of the above apply to the term, perhaps Aristotle’s second definition “so good that nothing of the kind could be better” was written after he had a bottle of 1997 Quintarelli Alzero.  I am sure that if it would have been possible for him to taste this wine, he may very well have moved this definition to the number one spot.  Fortunately for me, I have had the wine on close to a dozen occasions and each time I have been mesmerized by it. Last night at dinner at Il Capriccio Ristorante, Whippany, NJ was my most recent mesmerization (I think I just created a new word).  What a wine!  If there is such a thing as a perfect wine, the 1997 Alzero is it.  The wine is made in the traditional Ripasso method from 100% Cabernet Franc grapes.  This wine has it all, sensual bouquet, impeccable balance, lush fruit, and what I like to call sweet elegance on the palate and finish. There is no cloying sweetness here, just a round and delicious wine.  It is the ultimate expression of what wine can be. Words can not do the wine justice, it must be tasted to be experienced.  Il Capriccio Sommelier Salvatore Le Rose, who is as big a fan of this wine as I am, is in agreement on the perfection of this wine.

While this is not cheap, $400+,  if you are serious about good wine, you must pick up bottle for that special occasion.  You will be glad you did.  DeVino, NYC. and New York Wine Warehouse, NYC.

Calamari Affogati
A wine this good begs for great food.  Fortunately one does not have to beg for it at Il Capriccio.  One simply needs to ask and you shall receive.  Last night my wife Carol, her mother and I enjoyed Stuffed Artichoke Hearts and Spaghettini with Calamari Affogati (fork tender squid stewed in San Marzano Tomatoes) as our appetizers. Our main courses consisted of Tagliatelle Bolognese, Spaghettini with Lobster, Pachino Tomatoes and Porcini, and Vitello di Scalopini con Funghi.  

Espresso, fresh fruit tart and a Grappa completed the "perfect" evening.


1 comment:

  1. Having also had the great opportunity to pop a bottle of Quintarelli's 1997 Alzero, I must concur with you in saying that it is indeed the "perfect" wine. It's a wine that truly left me in awe. I have had the 1998 on several occasions, but the 1997 is just on another level. A real treat and despite the heavy price tag, its rewarding drinking experience makes you soon forget the hole it leaves in one's wallet. A must buy!